Power per kilo? – Is it really the most important Factor In Pro Cycling ?


What is the first thing a professional Team Manager (At the Pro Tour) wants to know regarding the profile of his riders especially when the  team’s goal is the Big Tours (TDF, Giro atc)?

Is it Power per Killo ?


Well, It is a very important Factor –  but not the  most important…

As… Hematocrit level.

A pro cyclist, racing a one-day race (‘Classic’)  is a completely different story from a 3 weeks Tour.

For a rider who is preparing  himself for the Tour the France (TDF), the training regime is something else (especially in the new “Lance Era”. The trainings are based much more on consecutive loads that simulate a kind of mini Tour. The big question is:

1.”…The training program based on drugs? Or not?”

2. What are the drugs using in cycling and  how do they affect the athlete?

The Drugs Using In cycling (During the Years):

1. EPO – EPO (Erythropoietin , or EPO) is a hormone produced in the kidney . Cells in the bone marrow Iscoltnim this hormone and hormone receptor promotes Link creating red blood cells.

2. Blood doping – (removing personal blood during Recovery period and  injecting it back into the blood during a long multi day race)

3. Growth hormone (Human Growth Hormone) , not conclusively proven effective.

4. Steroids. Anabolic materials such as testosterone ( stimulate EPO production in the body).

5. Stimulants – amphetamines (Ecstasy – one of many types of amphetamines), Afidrin and cocaine .

6 . Gene doping

7. Painkillers – morphine , Mtdon , heroin , etc.

8. Shielded Drugs – Drugs that hide other illicit drugs taken athlete.

For further reading about the types of drugs are available on  www.bikepure.org –



In the paragraph below, the professional rider Andy Hampsten explains in simple language the differences between using simple and “old school” drugs, and what actually changed from the moment the use of EPO became so popular.

Andy Hampsten : ” In the mid- eighties when I listed the races , riders were doped but it was still possible to compete against them. These were amphetamines or anabolic drugs, both quite strong but they had drawbacks. Amphetamines made the riders fools when they were launching a pointless and crazy attack and would spend all their energy in vain. Anabolic drugs made the riders too muscular and too heavy, caused them injuries in the long run , not to mention all the horrible eczema . They were super strong in cold weather, short races , but racing the big tours , at the hot temperature , anabolic drugs would take them down . Bottom Line ( until then) – a clean rider could compete in the big Tours of three weeks.

EPO changed everything. Amphetamines and anabolics were really nothing compared to EPO. Suddenly groups quickly began a brutal ride . Without any warning, I found  myself fighting to get in the field , in the cut off time.

In 1994 it became ridiculous , I was climbing, working so hard like never before , producing the same power to the same weight, as we do every year and  just over me a “Big Ass” passing me like we are riding on the Flat Terrain, it was completely crazy .


Taylor Hamilton is an Olympic gold medalist and TDF team winner (who rode alongside Lance Armstrong) and was later to become one of the key witnesses against Armstrong in the USADA investigation..  In 2005, the USADA seized drugs from Hamilton and  he was kicked off  the team. He explained in his book that during the EPO Era, the riders were super strong  however, he was able to win without drugs on Tours up to 4 days (clean –’ Pan & Agua’ ) .

Racing in short Tours, the effecst of the EPO significantly go down. Proof of this was the participation of Hamilton as an amateur in 1994 in Tour Dfont (U.S. ) Hamilton competed there in front of the best professionals in the world (including Armstrong and Akimov .  At the end of the race  (5 km) Hamilton came in sixth place ( clean , no drugs ) What followed was a little more difficult for him.


Taylor Hamilton: ” 80 % of the riders racing the TDF  are under the influence of drugs . “

From 1980 to 1990 the average speed of 37.5 mph TDF , from 1995 to 2005 it increased to 41.6 mph …. It Roughly 22 % improvement in power riders ! “

(The Secret Race , 2012 – Page 33 ) Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle (I am very much recommend this book, for every serious cyclist)

When I visited Belgium in 2013
 I met an ex-pro rider from Nederland who explained  it to me in a very simple way.

When he was a pro 10 years ago, his (natural)  hematocrit level was 48-49. A real talent (if he was racing these days, maybe). But back then, 10 years ago, he was good (or  too good?) and not more than that, because he could not (and did not want) to boost himself beyond the 50% level with EPO or other drugs. Other cyclists on the same fitness level, who were 42-44% could boost themselves to 48-49% without getting on the radar of  Wada Or Uci and without risking their "Health” too much”.

On the other hand, you can say that using EPO can increase your performance when you want to increase your intensity in a long training camp, or in a crash training week (so it also influences every athlete who wants to shorten his recovery between hard trainings), still, EPO is more significant in a long, multi day race, where endurance and recovery are the more important factors.

gone learn today

A good physiologist probably does not  need to do a urine or blood test,

in order to know whether the athlete is cheating or not,

he needs only to analyze the annual training plan and racing.

> Tests & Racing Results.

Nothing more.

The human body is simple, drug testing was probably designed  by lawyers ….

(Elad Faltin)

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For The Fourth article – click here